Online & Digital MarketingSEO

Is SEO a lost cause for hotels?

Hotel websites used to rank in the top results of search engines. Recently, however, we encounter websites of various agencies, rather than hotels, in tourism-related search results.

While digital marketing agencies recommend hotels to allocate their budgets to focus on SEO by claiming that they can increase their rank in search engines, there are others that say “SEO is over for hotel management and it is a lost cause no matter what you do”.

So, which one is true? Are hotels surpassed by the agencies in the SEO conflict?

Times when we used to find hotels in search engines

Hotels experienced a successful period regarding SEO with an outstanding performance in the first decade after the beginning of 2000s. Back then, no property had any difficulty in ranking in the top results of search engines, while accessing thousands of visitors and managing to increase their revenue. But today, it is not that easy. What changed?

Changing trends and sites growing in popularity

Even when you type a hotel + city name to search in Google, you might not be able to find the hotel in results pages directly. The first pages do not feature hotels anymore, instead, they feature sites like, or These sites now occupy almost all first pages and now enjoy the organic traffic which was once a source of happiness for hotels. Currently, online travel agencies (OTA) have penetrated Google results almost entirely.

It is argued that many properties trying to claim their position on Google through traditional SEO methods in the tourism industry are wasting their time. Is it really so?

Is it too late?

Today it is quite often said that there is no point in hotels focusing on SEO since it is impossible for them to recapture the dominancy over OTAs in organic traffic. However, this generalization is not true at all. It is still possible to overcome this and enhance visibility as well as benefit from this. As HotelRunner, we have compiled some suggestions to help you be featured in the top results.

1. How should a website’s chemistry be like?

Do not trust your website with the complex content management systems developed for general use. Instead, prefer options specialized in creating services for touristic properties. Such platforms like the award-winning HotelRunner infrastructure offer special solutions not only for SEO, but also for you to get the efficiency you targeted for your website.

2. They can see it, but what is it?

Of course images are quite important, especially for those who are planning to travel. Users want to see where they will stay at before going there. Provide them with this opportunity. However, remember to add texts along with images and videos to enhance their effect, as users will associate them with the visuals. When creating content about your properties and services, it is helpful to use materials your customers will like to hear and see.

3. Strengthening your brand awareness

You have to improve your brand awareness to create an outstanding effect in your SEO efforts. This way, it will become more likely for people to search your brand name and find your website easily, thus you will increase your traffic and sales.

4. Small but reasonable goals

It’s never a waste of time and money to invest in content. Properties aiming at more web traffic should avoid website layouts with too many photos but lacking in content. As a result, you should not overlook the fact that search engines focus more on content.

5. Aim at long-tail SEO

It’s great news for you if your page is visible in the first results of searches like “hotel name + city”. But you have to go beyond this. You should take into account that people can search the same thing with different descriptions. Previously, we mentioned the term long tail SEO. If you have missed that article, we recommend you to read it.

6. The age of social media

Do not overlook the rules of social media. Claim your position on social networks where your target group is active, considering the fact that your work will spread across social channels in a short time.

Industrial SEO rules change quite rapidly. Experiment with different approaches by being open to changes in this channel where people’s “search” habits change rapidly and their attention might be switched directly to something else very quickly. HotelRunner is there for you to carry your property to the Internet, increase your SEO power, manage social channels easily and accept direct payments and online booking. Create your free-of-charge HotelRunner account now and start earning immediately.

Rıza Kaynak

Director of Demand

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